A storage hypervisor is software that allows storage to be controlled centrally in a storage pool regardless of what hardware the storage is located on.
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Storage hypervisors allow storage administrators to replace underlying physical storage without having to make changes to the virtual storage environment. The software, which manages storage I/O for the virtual environment, can run on a dedicated storage appliance, in a virtual machine or in a server virtualization hypervisor. Some storage hypervisors also come with additional capabilities for deduplication or data protection.
The term storage hypervisor was first used by vendors that offer a wide array of storage virtualization technology. Although the tasks of the storage hypervisor may change depending upon the vendor's product, the goal of the hypervisor remains the same: to improve performance and make more efficient use of storage resources in a virtual environment.
See also: virtual storage appliance